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• Construction has begun on a major renovation of the Larry H. Miller Megaplex Theatres location at The Gateway in Salt Lake City. The project is a joint venture between the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies and Vestar, owners of The Gateway. The renovated theaters complex will feature heated luxury recliners, in-seat dining, premium snack and beverage service, elegant décor, private meeting and event space, state-of-the-art technology and more. It will occupy the same general area as the original Megaplex location that dates back to 2001.
• Eddie Canaday has been appointed to serve on the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association Foundation’s board executive committee. Canaday is Visit Salt Lake’s director of convention sales in its Washington, D.C., office and diversity market development director. The association works to advance LGBTQ+ travel by providing information and resources for LGBTQ+ travelers and expand LGBTQ+ tourism globally by demonstrating its significant social and economic impact.
• Gabb Wireless, Lehi, has announced the “Gabb Ambassador Search,” a contest open to youngsters age 15 or younger who live in the United States. The winner will receive $10,000, a billboard in their hometown, and a year-long contract as a Gabb ambassador. Details are at gabblife.com. The contest is the finale in a series of six contests over six months leading up to the discovery of the next ambassador.
• Utah is the top state in the nation for remote-job growth by 2028, according to CareerCloud. It used the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau. The rankings were determined by analyzing three metrics in each state: remote job opportunities, projected growth rates in these jobs through 2028, and broadband access. Utah topped the overall rankings. Utah remote-job growth through 2028 is projected at 41.7 percent. Next-highest is Colorado at 30.8 percent. The lowest projection is for Mississippi at 2.2 percent. Remote work in the U.S. grew by 30 percent in the past decade. It is projected to grow by 16 percent by 2028. Details are at https://www.careercloud.com/news/best-states-for-remote-jobs.
• Utah is the No. 6-worst state for nurses and aides when factoring in wages, job opportunities and cost of living, according to a study by TheSeniorList.com. It analyzed data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Census Bureau and Zillow Rent Index. The rankings were determined by comparing each state across nine categories and scoring them. Massachusetts was the highest-ranked best state. Oklahoma was ranked last.
• Salt Lake City is ranked No. 5 among “Best Cities for Electric Car Owners,” a list compiled by LawnStarter. It compared the 200 largest U.S. cities across 11 key factors, including the number of state electric vehicle laws and incentives, average insurance premium and the number of charging stations per capita. Salt Lake City was ranked No. 2 for infrastructure and No. 3 for most electric vehicle charging stations per 100,000 residents. Irvine, California, topped the overall list. Midland, Texas, was bottom-ranked. Details are at https://www.lawnstarter.com/blog/studies/best-cities-to-own-an-electric-car/.
• Utah is ranked sixth-best overall and Salt Lake City is ranked No. 2 among larger cities in a study of “Places with the Best and Worst Nursing Homes in America,” compiled by DNP Program Studies. It analyzed Google and Yelp reviews of more than 10,000 facilities nationwide. Vermont led the state rankings. Nevada was bottom-ranked. Arlington Heights, Illinois, led the larger-cities rankings. Details are at
• Recursion, a Salt Lake City-based digital biology company industrializing drug discovery, has announced the appointment of R. Martin Chavez as chairman of its board of directors. Chavez, who joined Recursion’s board in 2020, will serve as the company’s first independent chairman. In this role, he will oversee the organization’s goals with regard to investor relations and apply his career-long innovation expertise to support Recursion's mission to decode biology and radically improve lives. His experience includes serving in a variety of senior roles at Goldman Sachs, including chief information officer, chief financial officer and global co-head of the firm’s Securities Division and as a member of Goldman’s management committee; serving as CEO and co-founder of Kiodex; and serving as chief technology officer and co-founder of Quorum Software Systems. He also has served as a senior advisor at Sixth Street Partners and as a board member for Paige, Banco Santander SA and Sema4.
• TaxBit, a Salt Lake City-based cryptocurrency tax and accounting automation software company, has raised $100 million in a Series A funding round led by Paradigm and Tiger Global, with additional participation from PayPal Ventures; Coinbase Ventures; Winklevoss Capital; investor Bill Ackman; Ryan Smith, Qualtrics co-founder and chairman; Anthony Pompliano; Michael Vaughan, former Venmo COO; Galaxy Digital; Valar Ventures; Collaborative; Global Founders Capital; Album Ventures; TTV Capital; Original Capital and more.
• Traverse, Mercato Partners’ growth equity fund, has announced a $20 million investment as part of an $80 million Series E round for Beam Dental, a dental insurer based in Ohio. Also participating in the round were Drive Capital, Georgian, Nationwide Ventures, Ainge Advisors and Breakout Capital. Beam plans to use the proceeds from the round to extend its distribution system as well as the continued expansion of its technology platform and product offering.
• KetoNatural Pet Foods, a Salt Lake City-based pet food startup, has closed a $2 million seed financing transaction led by Chicago-based fund Corazon Capital. KetoNatural makes Ketona, hailed as a first-of-its-kind dry pet food with the low carbohydrate and high protein content previously only found in raw or fresh pet food products. The $2 million will be used for marketing, expanding the product line, growing the team and investing in new scientific work.
• Utah’s 35th annual “Scouting for Food” Drive resulted in donations of an estimated 142,000 pounds of food at donation drop-off sites across the state. Four hundred BSA Cub Scout Packs, Scouts BSA troops and Venturing Crews across Utah, 40 community food pantries and food banks, 35 Arctic Circle Restaurants, 18 Bank of Utah locations and 11 Red Hanger locations distributed 59,000 Scouting for Food bags in communities throughout the state. Bank of Utah branches, Red Hanger Cleaners and local pantries and food banks served as donation sites throughout the food drive, and more than 50 local Smith’s Food & Drug stores and a few rural grocers allowed local Scouts to collect donations from shoppers on Scouting for Food Day on Feb. 6.
• Mountain America Credit Union, Sandy, has donated nearly $30,000 to location charities in connection with its college basketball three-point shot programs. It donated $50 to a local charity for every successful three-point shot made by Brigham Young University, Idaho State University and Boise State University during the 2020-21 men’s college basketball season. BYU’s recipient charity is the American Red Cross, which received $11,500.
• KBS, an investor in commercial real estate, recently signed 102,928 square feet in leases at its Millrock Park, a four-building, Class-A office plaza in Holladay. The transactions included five new leases and two renewals with expansions. The five new companies to sign leases include Dyno Nobel, involved in commercial explosives, and WSP USA, a global engineering professional-services firm. Other new tenants at the property include Kensington Capital, Insperity and Banyan Venture Partners. Clene Nanomedicine, a pharmaceutical company, and Buckner Insurance Services also recently renewed and expanded their leases at Millrock Park. Jordan Wall, senior executive vice president of Colliers International, represented KBS in the leases.
• Peak Awards were recently presented by Riverton City and the South Valley Chamber to recognize outstanding businesses and individuals for their success in business and contributions to the community. Earning Riverton Peak Awards for business were Chamber Ambassador of the Year, David Khwaja, owner of First Touch Consulting; Business Man of the Year, Monte B. Peterson, president and chairman of Peterson’s Fresh Market; Business Woman of the Year, Leslie Mulford-Reiser, owner of Elite Academy; and Business of the Year, Salsa Leedos Mexican Grill. City awards include Outstanding City Employee Award, Todd Stewart, facilities maintenance manager, Riverton City; Mayor’s Service Award, Linda Abel, chair, Riverton City Historic Preservation Commission; and Excellence in Public Safety Award, Chief Wade Watkins, Unified Fire Authority. Sandy Peak Awards included South Valley Chamber Sandy Ambassador of the Year, Pro Syaysith, BBSI; Business Person of the Year, Tom Steele and Stephanie Carter; Developer of the Year, Synergy Development; Innovative Company of the Year, Vascular Access Devices BD Medical; Public Private Partnership Award, Costco Wholesale Sandy No. 487; Business of the Year, Slackwater; Community Service Award, Children and the Earth Inc.; Residents’ Choice Award, The Honeysuckle Coffee Co.; and Mayor's Excellence Award, Rush Cycle Sandy.
• The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Utah District Office has named the leading lenders who assist small-business owners in securing the capital they need through SBA’s traditional loan programs. SBA data shows that the lending community in Utah approved almost 1,100 traditional SBA loans. Certified development companies made a record number of 504 loans in terms of dollars in fiscal year 2020, providing over $205 million in debentures and total projects representing over $520 million. Overall, the economic impact through traditional SBA lending products approached $900 million. These figures only represent the traditional loan programs and do not include the PPP or EIDL lending program results. Recipients of the SBA Utah District Office FY 2020 Lender Recognition Awards are Zions Bank, Top 7(a) Lender by Number of Approvals and Top 7(a) Rural Lender; America First Credit Union, Top 7(a) Lender by Dollars Approved and Top National 7(a) Credit Union Lender by Dollars Approved – Nationally; Mountain West Small Business Finance, Top 504 Lender, Top Lender to Minority-Owned Businesses and Top Lender to Women-Owned Businesses; Celtic Bank, Top 10 National 7(a) Lender – Nationally; Mountain America Credit Union, Top 504 Third Party Lender and Top National 7(a) Credit Union Lender by Number of Loans Approved – Nationally; Central Bank, Top Community Lender Based on Number of 7(a) Loans Approved; and Rock Canyon Bank, Top Community Lender Based on 7(a) Dollars Approved.
• The top 20 teams have been named in the 2021 High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge, a competition hosted by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, a division of the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah, and sponsored by Zions Bank. Teams from high schools across the state are competing for $25,000 in cash and scholarships. More than 130 teams applied. Each team faced the challenge of identifying a problem and proposing a creative solution. The next step is online voting, which is open to the public through March 26. The 20 finalists will give a virtual presentation to judges March 27. The finalist teams are Acti-Vest (Juan Diego Catholic High School), Alteration Annie’s (West High School), Bayern Auto (American Fork High School), Branch Bomb (Woods Cross High School), Busy Bee Box (Woods Cross), ConnecTeen (Waterford School), Eggshell Remover (Springville High School), Floura (Taylorsville High School), FoodFinds (Park City High School), Ivy Health (American Fork), Jesperson Inc. (American Fork), Lazorback (Blue Peak High School), Lending Lions (Rowland Hall-St. Mark’s), LitFit (West), Mighty Mist (Academy for Math, Engineering and Science), Pocket Garden (Hillcrest High School), Polaris Printing (Park City), Ringo Leveling the Testing Field (West), The Orca (West Jordan High School), and Voltage Electric Kart Systems (Park City).
• My College Laptop, a Lehi-based education resource website that advocates for technology immersion in college, has compiled a list of community colleges that are aggressively addressing the technology gap for their students. The list is at mycollegelaptop.com/ and includes Houston Community College, Clovis Community College in California, Shoreline Community College in Washington, Mount San Antonio College in California, Western Iowa Tech Community College, Montgomery College in Maryland, Portland Community College in Oregon, Los Angeles Community College District, Everett Community College in Washington, and Harrisburg Area Community College in Pennsylvania.
• Reliable Auto Sales, 410 W. 2100 S., Suite 9, Salt Lake City, has become a U-Haul neighborhood dealer. It will offer services like U-Haul trucks, moving supplies and in-store pickup for boxes.
• Applications are being accepted through April 30 for two full-tuition-paid Women in Tech Scholarships to help women launch careers in the tech industry, to be presented by V School, in partnership with RizeNext Tech-Moms. The The first scholarship is available for V School’s web development or UX/UI design online programs. The second scholarship is for TechMoms technology programs. Details are at https://vschool.io/scholarships/tech-moms/?utm_campaign=wit&utm_source=email.
• Code Corp., a Salt Lake City-based company focused on barcode scanning and data capture technologies, has promoted Jessica Johnson to director of manufacturing. Johnson has been with the company for 10 years, starting as an intern and steadily working her way up to greater levels of leadership and responsibility. She earned a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering in 2013 from the University of Utah.
• Pluralsight Inc., a Draper-based technology workforce development company, has promoted Lindsay Bayuk to chief marketing officer. Bayuk has been with the company since 2016, serving as the company’s first vice president of product marketing and later expanded to include all brand and content marketing, social, integrated marketing, analyst relations and customer advocacy. She later served as interim CMO. Prior to joining Pluralsight, she was a product marketing and product management leader at several SaaS startups.
• MX, a Lehi-based connectivity and data enhancement company serving financial institutions and fintechs, has named James Dotter as the company’s first chief business officer and hired Brian Kinion as chief financial officer. Dotter will oversee the company's strategic initiatives and drive interdepartmental alignment, along with corporate development, legal and business operations. For the past seven years, Dotter has served as chief financial officer. Prior to joining MX, Dotter was the vice president of finance and operations at XANT, formerly InsideSales.com; and president and founder of Provinti. Kinnion will oversee the company's finance organization, including investor relations, financial planning and analysis, accounting, compensation and deal desk. Kinion has more than 30 years of experience, including taking four companies public and leading financial departments at private and public companies, including Upwork, Marketo and SuccessFactors.
• The Utah Transit Authority (UTA) recently celebrated the completion of the first phase of construction on its new bus operations, maintenance and administration facility, known as the Depot District Clean Fuels Technology Center (DDCFTC). Once the project is complete, the facility will have the capacity to store, operate, maintain and service its current fleet of compressed natural gas and electric vehicles with room for future expansion. Global architecture and design firm Stantec is providing project management, planning, architecture, interior design, lighting design and sustainability design on the $95 million project. During Phase I, the project team delivered the new wash building, a parking lot for employees and visitors, satellite fueling facilities for UTA’s non-revenue vehicle fleet, and diesel fueling for transit buses. Phase II of construction recently started and will complete the project, with 132,892 square feet of new administration, operations and maintenance facilities, and canopied parking for 135 buses. Phase II is expected to be complete in the spring of 2023. The project is replacing a 45-year-old facility.
• Keystone Aviation, Salt Lake City, has again secured its designation of Wyvern Wingman Certified Operator following an audit conducted by Wyvern in November. The Wyvern Wingman Standard, the first air charter audit standard in the aviation industry, provides a safety benchmark that allows air charter customers to assess performance expectations against recognized industry best operating practices before purchasing air charter services. This is Keystone’s 18th consecutive time to attain the designation. Keystone Aviation provides private jet charter, aircraft management and aviation maintenance.